Stories and Traveltips

ID #5159

Ek Gaan my Vriende Roep, Phalaborwa, Lowveld, Limpopo Province, South Africa.

There is a hotel in Phalaborwa that is the favourite watering hole of some of the locals. It used to be called the Impala Inn but has since changed its name. However, there is only one hotel so you cannot miss it. To the left of the reception area is a pub that is unusual because it has few windows, and those it does have are rather small. I suppose it was built in this fashion to exclude light, making it dark and intimate, even at midday when the light outside is blinding. As one might expect, the door is locked from the outside.  

Legend has it that, one Friday evening, two rough and ready bruisers were looking for a little entertainment so they started picking on other patrons who were present.  

The barman asked one patron whether he would like a refill. He nodded his head and said politely in Afrikaans: “Pour me a double klippies and coke please barman” which he did. 

A word of explanation: Klippies is the affectionate term most South Africans use to describe Klipdrift Brandy -- a brand that has been popular since the time of the diamond diggings in Kimberley in the 1880's. Apparently it is named after a drift (ford) in the Orange River west of Kimberley.

Now back to my story: Seizing the opportunity, one of the bruisers picked up the full glass and downed its contents. Not looking for trouble, the offended patron stumbled out of the bar mumbling: “Ek gaan my vriende roep” (I am going to call my friends) and went home.

A week later the selfsame patron went to the pub before going home. Again he ordered a double brandy. And, once again, one of bruisers downed it before he had had a chance to take a sip. Then, thinking that this was great fun, they laughed loudly at his misfortune. However, this time the patron lost his temper. He got up and left the bar to go home, shouting: “Ek gaan my vriende roep” as he did so. The two bruisers however paid little attention – they had in the meanwhile found other patrons to bother.

A week later our hapless patron again went to the pub before going home on a Friday afternoon. This time, however, he had come prepared. The bruisers repeated their trick, laughing loudly as they did so. Our hero left the pub but instead of going home, he went to fetch a beehive he had hidden nearby. He approached the door of the pub, wrenched it open and threw the beehive inside. As he did so, he shouted: “Ek het my vriende geroep” (I did call my friends). Then he closed and locked the door from the outside.

Other patrons, the barman and the two bruisers were trapped inside the pub behind the locked door. To get away from the infuriated bees they smashed the small windows and scrambled out after being stung numerous times. When the windows were later inspected, the broken glass was covered with spots and smears of blood as well as bits of flesh, skin, hair and the odd piece of clothing.

Moral of the story: If you are looking for trouble, dont be too surprised if occasionally you find it. Or alternatively, it finds you.

Alan McIver

PS this story comes courtesy of Wally Els, master storyteller. 

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Last update: 2014-02-28 22:36
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.7

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